Bethany was diagnosed with a high risk Wilms' tumour aged just four. She relapsed and passed away only three years later. Her family intend to ensure that her fight was not in vain, that her memory and her smile live on forever. They are raising funds in the hope that one day a cure might be found. Here, Bethany's family share her story...
Bethany was a happy and healthy child that enjoyed dancing, smiling and holidays. She never had any health complaints until she turned four, when her mum noticed that her tummy appeared to be slightly swollen. This was put down to a healthy appetite and Bethany did not complain of any pain or discomfort and had no other symptoms.
When a mum from her school (who's little boy had suffered from a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma) commented on Bethany's tummy a few weeks later, we decided to take her to her GP to investigate, thinking it was maybe perhaps an allergy or an intolerance. It was then that our world fell apart when she was diagnosed with a stage 3 intermediate risk Wilms' tumour (in the right kidney) in April 2009.
However, Bethany without complaining and forever with a smile, proceeded to take chemotherapy, a kidney removal and radiotherapy all in her stride, continuing with school and dancing and seeing all her friends. In November 2009 all her scans were clear and we hoped and prayed that we could put the awful ordeal in the past and move on.
Unfortunately in April 2011, Bethany relapsed to her remaining left kidney and in both lungs. Our world came crashing down only 18 months after thinking we had beat the monster. She then underwent a gruelling treatment of stronger chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and a partial left nephrectomy. This only left her with 1/4 of a kidney left but Bethany defied the odds and didn't need any dialysis as we had been told.
Bethany kept smiling, although she found it very tough. She got to meet her idol Britney Spears whilst on treatment and we were able to finally breathe a sigh of relief when she finished relapse treatment in February 2012. We thought the future could finally be bright for our family.
In August 2012, after a routine scan we were informed of the worst and most heartbreaking news to date. Bethany's cancer had come back in the left lung and we were told there was nothing more they could do. We refused to give up hope and tried a new chemotherapy, consulted doctors around the world and prayed. We thought we would have forever with our baby, but sadly we only had 2 1/2 months after finding out this news.
Bethany's cancer progressed at such a rate, we were shocked. She could not physically take any more treatment and sadly passed away at home in her mummy's arms and holding her daddy's hand on the 12 October 2012.
Bethany's wish - Wilms Tumour Charity was formed from donations during Bethany's fight and we managed to raise an amazing £200,000 in 3 years and help lots of families UK wide. We have now decided to close the charity and continue as a Special Named Fund within Children's Cancer and Leukemia Group (CCLG), which will fund vital research into wilms tumour and will also support the annual Childhood Cancer Conference UK.
We intend to ensure that her fight was not in vain, that her memory and her smile live on forever. We hope that one day a cure might be found. Join us and #curewilms.
Make a donation to Bethany's Wish
Open an online fundraising page for Bethany's Wish
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Text CCLG 5 BETHANY to 70300 to donate £5.
CCLG will receive 100% of your donation. You may also be charged for one text message at your network’s standard or charity rate.
You can make a donation or pay in funds raised by cheque, payable to CCLG, to CCLG, Century House, 24 De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GB. Please ensure you make it clear that the donation is for Bethany's Wish so that your donation is allocated to the correct fund.